Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The annual post of the upcoming trends for 09.

I'm sure this trend prediction won't be as good as last year's crowd pleaser. And this year, well, it's all about too-open social networking and its imminent demise.

We've got a variety of socnets out there ranging from the one-dimensional to multi-dimensional viewpoints.
A one dimensional socnet is the Twitter or the LinkedIn- they provide a one sided view of your life. A user's own content uploads are highly controlled and access is fairly limited.

Facebook on the other hand is way too open. My grinch is grown from the multi dimensional variety.

It started out great- so much to see, so much to do. You can see what your friends are doing, you can play with apps, you can perve on photos, you can tag yourself and others in photos. You can write on walls.....ALL UNCENSORED. It goes up and only then do you have the option of taking it down, once people have the potential to see it.

Yes , you can change your settings so that only certain people can see certain things, blah blah- but it's confusing, a pain in the ass and really, it is either all on the FB, or nothing.

The excitement has died down. Lessons have been learned.

At first it was great to publicise what you were doing, where you were going and telling people your bits and bobs in an open, public space- but this is wearing out and fast.

People are expressing their concern at having to continually update and manage the facebook. They don't want people to know all their comings and goings- they no longer supply a response.
Applications are a pain in the ass. Everyone I "interviewed" expressed that they just deleted application invites.
Photos are great, but tagging can get embarrassing.

Right now, we're down to events, wall writing and photos as the primary FB activity. Applications and the rest are really dropping off in a big way. There is still room for email, even videos, but the effort required is slightly more than the other acceptable activities.

The biggest issue of all is that Facebook is stifling, and has begun to feel possessive- as if Facebook "owns us". It has become a chore and something a user must do to stay involved and connected to their friend group. But, this is becoming a cause for rejection. And it's happening. The Anti-Facebook Refusenick movement is going strong.

So my big trend for '09 (besides being the year of mobile of course), is that the user rejection of FB will continue its trickle down effect. And quite frankly, it's not unwarranted.

Warner is clearly retarded

Warner, what are you doing? I understand that YouTube may have been the instigator in taking down Warner music videos, but still- Warner should have been a bit more open in the negotiations.

Forget that the model has changed...people have changed.
The interline is great- it's opened up a plethora of options for media people, brands and marketers to extend the life of brands and their impacts on people.
It started off as a purely data-based tool and a way for people to access information. And as a constantly evolving medium people learned and adapted to the net to make it something more. i.e. Web 2.0 was born.
With that comes the expectation of people to play with marketing tools or whatever for free. If something online requires payment, there is a 100% likelihood it will be available somewhere else for free.
So for Warner- leave your music free and available on YouTube. It's not about making royalties, it's about making a sample of your product available for the public to trial- eventually leading to a sale. People are appreciating the accessible and open. That's how the internet is going and you may as well leave your product somewhere where you know people are going- then at least you still have some element of control over content.

So yeah, peace. Happy H-Kah and the merry X-Mas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

some cool shite today

Flight of the Conchords is having a UGC contest that will actually deliver... the obsession with the Flight of The Conchords chaps is the right kind of show involvement where UGC works best.

A company called Shidonni has launched a site where your drawings are brought to life. It is geared at kids, but everyone can have fun with this baby.
Venturebeat: The site lets kids (ages four to 12) be as creative as they want to be. They can draw as many animals or objects as they like, and those animals can appear as the heroes in the simple games that appear on Shidonni's site. Children can also create backgrounds such as hills, the sun, or other pieces of landscape that likewise become the environment for the kid-created characters to play in"

I envision that all the content that's created by users will end up becoming a self populated virtual world, where you can turn up somewhere and see your own contribution to the space. Pretty damn nice web 2.0. reminds me of the Magic Faraway Tree...eveytime those kids went up the tree there was another new land of adventure. I feel all warm, fuzzy and nostalgic inside.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How Digital Media Will Deliver Tangible Benefits

AdAge: In the Two Weeks Since my Last Column, The Trend Toward Intangible Media has Accelerated
Last time in this space I outlined my conviction that five years from now all media will either be completely digital or well on its way to becoming intangible. Two weeks later, the trend has accelerated.

Steve Rubel again declares doozie

The last article wasn't so bad. Steve said one thing that made sense- tangible papery media consumption will decline because of various environmental issues. Fair enough.

But this has just taken too far. Steve, you're worse than a defense attorney. Twisting words and occurrences of the last two weeks as further proof to your fermented pudding. Plus, you never mention the tangible benefits....

The facts are that there are a lot of mitigating factors that are causing papers to shut down- perchance the GFC*. Sadly, this has nothing to do with your prediction that all media will become intangible by 2014.

*global financial crisis

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

'Digital Influencers' Get Info from Magazines, TV First

AdAge.com: MS&L Survey Shows Traditional Media Still Matters -- Those all-important "digital influencers" actually get their information from magazines, newspapers, TV and radio. That's according to an MS&L survey whose results will be released tomorrow.

Load of shit warning at hand.
Let's get one thing straight before we even start- "influencers" are generelly interested in a specific topic or two. Once an influencer, not always an influencer. That's how it goes. It is impossible to be an apparent expert in everything, unless of course you happen to be an arrogant, obnoxious dick who is under the impression they they know everything.

It is also important to note, that people who have different interest sets, also have different sweet spots in their connection points. I've seen first hand that the same campaign for a social media influencer set needs to be tweaked and adapted for a politico set. This is very important and you should always remember that one when planning a campaign.

Furthermore, people, who are by nature interested in a certain niche topic, will pursue that topic incessantly. It would be intuitive and wise to think that would involve established sources for particular interests. Fashion is best suited to magazine, health to journals and greenie most probably to the newspaper.

So take this with a grain of salt, because it's not all that upfront and I don't think they really understand the implications of what they're saying.

MTV Pumps Up User Content

TV Week: MTV will expand its original programming in the first quarter by launching a two-hour block of new content on Sundays at 9 p.m. and adding original shows Monday and Thursday nights. The network has given the go-ahead to nine new programs aimed at its 12-to 34-year-old target, including shows from Donald Trump, Nick Lachey, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Johnny Knoxville.

The new Sunday night block is centered around "entrepreneurship, ambition and enterprise with attitude," says programming executive vice president Tony DiSanto. The fresh programming reflects a young generation of "adventure capitalists, who live, work and play on their own terms," says Brian Graden, president of entertainment.

Translation: Expect lots of inexpensive user content. For instance, "College Life," is shot at the University of Wisconsin by the students and gives viewers an unpolished intimate look at college kids telling their stories their own way, says the network.

What? This isn't UGC....it's nothing of the sort
This is plain old tv shows, shot with a crew. aka reality tv. There is no UGC submission or fan based involvement.

A whole pr shimmy for the advertisers. This one has not been hoodwinked.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pew: Most Will Access Internet Via Mobile By 2020

by Mark Walsh: Anyone expecting 2009 to be the long-awaited "Year of Mobile" may have to wait a little longer. Wireless devices will be the primary means of connecting to the Internet for most people worldwide in 2020, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The "Future of the Internet III" study, surveying nearly 600 Internet experts about the role of technology in the year 2020, suggested that the combination of portability and relative affordability will turn the cell phone into the leading Internet gateway 12 years from now.

Ever heard someone from Manchester say "Mooooobiiiile" ?

I have. It's great. Try find someone from Manchester to do it.

This article, however, is utter shit. I think in a social frame of mind people will use their mobile phones to access the internet- but when you're sitting at work, or at home, that isn't going to happen.

Standards and all the other crap that's mentioned, is also unlikely. The big providers in the US have such a strangle hold on the industry, I doubt they would ever conform to the betterment of their service. Unless Obama makes them. Watch out for the wrath when the new US CTO gets involved.

Great new way to target yout's

Teacher Sells Advertising On Tests To Pay Printing Costs
CBS News: San Diego teacher Tom Farber is selling advertising on the bottom of math tests, John Blackstone reports. The ads appear as lines of text, such as "Braces by Stephen P. Henry D.M.D."

At $10 for a quiz, $20 for a test, and $30 for a final exam, Farber's ads pay for the cost of printing the tests.

"I would have never have done this five years ago or ten years ago," Farber says. But San Diego area schools are facing a $51 million budget shortfall next year. Statewide, California schools are expecting at least $2.8 billion in cuts.

A good way to make students fail

During exams, you want to concentrate on your answers, not waste a second and do the best you can. So it's a great new tactic to include advertising on exams. A really well thought out idea by the teacher at hand.

Couldn't they still get support for their exam papers, but put the ad content elsewhere in the classroom? What about a review card which gives students their results and says "This test was brought to you by Braces by Stephen P. Henry D.M.D. Smile better when you do well"? (I never said I was a copywriter)

It's about content and context....this example should not be seen as encouraging.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Panelists: Give Consumers Emails That They Want To Receive

by David Goetzl: A discussion on the final day of MediaPost's Email Insider Summit found email marketers emphasizing the importance of employing a bottom-up and not top-down strategy. In other words: Avoid the easy trap of forgetting consumer preferences and habits. Stephanie Miller, vice president of strategic services at Return Path, who moderated the panel "A Call to Arms: How You Can Truly Move the Needle on Email," suggested that marketers often deliver messages they want to convey, rather than what a consumer is seeking.

There is something we can all learn from this
All marketers assess their marketing messages from their brand's point of view. Which was great way up until the 80s through to the 90s. But now...not so much.

Now, it's time to fuse your brand's marketing message with the needs of your consumers. Ask what do your consumers want from your brand, not only in the messaging, but in the marketing itself. Can you shift budget from a print ad, to make something more contextual? Can you use the budget you were going to spend on a TVC to distribute relevant content in the right context to really deliver what a potential buyer will appreciate?

So stop this silly marketing mix that we keep seeing. Not only do we as marketers not respond to it from other brands, our consumers are much more apathetic to the same noise.

Nice copy dood

I still don't think it would make me stay here

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Life: Google Archives Magazines Online

by Erik Sass: Magazine addicts and history buffs rejoice: Google is creating digital archives for the print editions of dozens of big-name consumer magazines (along with some lesser ones) stretching back decades. The news comes not long after Google said it was making the entire photo archive of Life--about 10 million images--available online, including many that never appeared in print.

Do no evil...somehow seems like we're heading towards a new iteration of advertising

This is great. A great initiative from Google and something which will help people find whatever they're after. There is one thing I'm bamboozled with- advertising in this mass proliferation.

It seems the old Googlie wants to continue advertising within all these archived articles. If you're still doing shitty old banner/text ad advertising, what does that mean?
It means that inventory will amplify exponentially, and to try and target your ad presence in amongst it will be a near impossible job.

If Google is going to think about this advertising bizzo, they'll need to have a good categorising system to allow the media buying drones an easy time. Otherwise they'll be f'cucked and banner/text advertising will hopefully swirl into its whirpool of ineffectivess.


Monday, December 8, 2008

What Do Consumers Really Hate? Paying For Content

Advertising Age: Consumers love to complain about advertising, but according to a new study, as much as they hate ads, they hate the idea of paying for content even more.

According to Mike Vorhaus, President of Magid Advisors for Frank N. Magid Associates, only 2.4% of those surveyed said they would definitely be willing to pay around $4 per month ($39.99 per year) for access to an ad-free version of one of their favorite sites.

Another 1.9% said they'd be willing to pay less than $3 per month (or $29.99 per year). Meanwhile, a whopping 84% of people said they'd be unlikely or not at all likely to pay a yearly fee for access to their favorite sites. What does all this say? Consumers may dislike ads, but they hate the idea of paying for content -- they're not even willing to pay a few cents per day to avoid them.

You said it bucko.
People expect the free now. And the biggest and best thing of all- if they see they need to pay for something in one place, they know that because the internet is a bottomless pit, they'll be able to find the same thing elsewhere, FOR FREE!

Branded Apps Fall Flat

Adweek: "Brands in general have found Facebook unforgiving terrain for marketing," Adweek's Brain Morrissey claims. Banner ads, in particular, have been known to perform poorly on the social networking site, but the Facebook Platform, which lets third-party developers create applications for users, was supposed to change all that, offering marketers the ability to engage consumers with their brands. However, so far, apps from Coca-Cola, Champion, Ford and Microsoft are about as popular "as desolate Second Life islands," Morrissey says.

Nevertheless, Mike Murphy, Facebook's VP of global sales, defends the tactic: "We find that if a brand builds an application as their social strategy and not as a tactic that contributes to their overall strategy, then more than likely they won't see good results," he said.

Experts note other reasons why so many branded apps have fallen flat. Some are too complicated, others provide little in the way of interactivity, and still others are "overly branded." Indeed, most branded apps are often "little more than ads," Morrissey says, adding that most are developed as one-off experiments, leaving developers with little room for tinkering.

Tell me something new, Hugh.
Umm, people, have we not learned yet? You need to create apps that interact with people's lives in a completely personal adaptable fashion. e.g. Tripadvisor's Cities I've Vistited. Cool little app which you update according to places you've been in the world. It requires continual updates, it is uniquely individual and has an added sentimentality attached to it. The way it really sings is the personalisation. It is a true "outside in" approach which is what facebook is all about. Something happens on the outside, in the real world and then it becomes updated on the inside, in the Facebook world.

If apps cater to that, well then, they should have a winner on their hands. It's not about people being tricked by pay-per-install models. It's called burn out and disinterest. You can't be sending retarded virtual fed-ex packages every month. It's about as tedious as cleaning out spam from your email or wax from your ear. People get tired, bored and the interaction becomes a chore.

i.e. Get with the program people. Look at these apps as people do, not marketers. Like most apps, they burn out and that's really all there is to it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Conde Nast Editors Not 'Overreacting' to Web

AdAge: Wintour, Carter, Remnick Still Believe in Print; Waiting for Recovery -- Conde Nast editors Anna Wintour, Graydon Carter and David Remnick insisted today that they're fully engaged with the challenges posed by the rise of the internet. If that's true, though, they sure didn't show it.

And the verbatims are even better.

"Mr. Carter asserted. "I say just wait eight years until they're 29," he said. "At a certain point, people just start reading newspapers."

WTF??? big time.

Where does this come from? Source please. Data to back it up?
I know I read the tangible newspapers on a weekend. But during the week, I don't think so. Online is the go.
Various articles (here, here and here) show that if anything, online is on the increase, print is on the decrease. reason- it's convenient....

Mr Carter, editor in chief at Vanity Fair, you can't just throw assumptions around at the drop of a hat, just because you think it sounds good. It doesn't make any sense. No one decides one day "ooh, I'm of age, let's switch to the tangible medium". Even when you're 65, you won't forget how to use the internet.
People just don't develop traditional old-style habits when they become a senior citizen. They carry on doing what they've been doing.

It doesn't work that way Mr Carter, and frankly, I expect more from you.

...and for the rest of the article, well I'd say out of date and out of touch. Just look at consumer need, it isn't hard. And if you want to grow a medium, just develop tools for your online audience with drivers to and from the offline. They'll lap it up, brand loyalty will grow, and hey- you'll have a winner on your hands.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First music video released with "Open source code"

Say wha...?

Jay-Z on iLike

From Wooster:
Recently Evan Roth from GRL put together a short video with his idol Jay-Z for (RED). The video, shown above is for a new Kanye West produced Jay-Z song for RED & the Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa. It launched earlier this week on World AIDS Day at red.msn.com.

The entire video is composed only of the letters from the word BROOKLYN, and as far as we know it's the first rap video to ever be released with open source code.

I am excited and nervous to see what people will do with this open source code. A viral music video that goes viral. It's like that annoying little soulja boy song, but a thousand fucking times cooler.

...and on another note. Those philipino prison dancers do like a dance a week these days. They did their own Soulja boy, the hustle, a shiteload....

Great new ad that really wets your advertising whistle

Meet Pablo the dog, the drug mule. Irreverent and esoteric in the good way. It's nice at the end that you still think "fuck, this is pretty serious stuff"

Except I kind of wish they called the dog Frank.

Good to know that some advertising can still hit the spot.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Repeated TV Spots Can Drive Consumers Away

Advertising Age: Fragmenting media and smaller budgets mean more TV ads are running over and over, and consumers seem to be getting fed up. Case in point: a Facebook group of about 9,000 people organized recently to stop Toyota's ubiquitous no-interest payment options ad from playing.

Recent complaints about repetitive ads should alarm both agencies and media outlets because it means that the commercial break -- so easily avoided with a DVR -- is getting even less appealing to viewers looking for entertainment during tough times.

Consumers have grown much more sensitive to multiple showings of the same commercial, says Kate Sirkin, research director at Starcom MediaVest Group. A TV ad can now reach the wear-out point after only eight showings, down from 15 to 20 showings a decade ago. Consumers today are "all multitasking, less patient, and don't like to have [their] time wasted," she says.

Case in point: ads on the whole are largely shite

I think that's where this argument begins and ends. It's good for support for the 'real' marketing youre doing out there...but in future go easy on the spot schedule.

Bad experiential is “like spam”

B and T: Too many experiential marketing campaigns are intrusive, and in danger of inciting the types of reactions consumers have to email spam and telemarketing, an industry expert has warned.

That's right - bad marketing is a form of abuse
I would say Alan Riva, quoted in the above article, has the right idea- experiential marketing is tough, especially when you're limited to a finite audience.

As Alan says, you have to work out the right time, right place conundrum- not just for the brand, but for the consumer as well. Then you need to work out how to transfer it between paradigms- digital to tangible.

As I've been suffering the last few weeks- representatives in my face who don't remember that they've spoken to me 5 minutes earlier, or hitting the same street with a handout every day for 3 weeks. Not only is it wasteful, it is annoying for the person who say no to the same bloody flier for the remaining 14 days...

Although I do have to admit...I did it enjoy it the other day when the guy again asked me about my penchant for a haircut and I responded "You asked me the same question 5 minutes ago and the answer is still a NO."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Straight from my inbox: Pownce is a shutting down

We are sad to announce that Pownce is shutting down on December 15, 2008. As of today, Pownce will no longer be accepting new users or new pro accounts.
To help with your transition, we have built an export tool so you can save your content. You can find the export tool at Settings > Export. Please export your content by December 15, 2008, as the site will not be accessible after this date.
Please visit our new home to find out more:
Our thanks go out to everyone who contributed to the Pownce community,

The Pownce Crew

Ding Dong. Pownce is dead.
It is pretty lame. Is it a shame? Methinks no. I must have logged in twice after I registered.

The premise was you could have community and file share with friends at the same time. email does pretty well on that front. It probably won't be long before FB starts putting out the attacment feature.

So goodbye pownce. Fare thee well.